Let me begin this post by telling you  a bit about my mother, my father and my childhood.

My parents separated when I was ten.  My father left my mother for very valid reasons.  She was erratic, unstable, and difficult.  My mother had goodness in her but she was mentally ill and that illness often outweighed her goodness unfortunately.

I never knew my mother’s father.  He and my grandmother were divorced when my mother was two.  My mother told me that he was a deadbeat dad and didn’t love his own child.  I believe that she was told that when she was a child and that her father was deliberately kept from her.

When my father left, I think it brought all her childhood issues with her own father to the forefront.  The incident caused her to perpetuate the cycle my grandmother started by alienating my mother from her father.  She told my brother and I that my father left all of us, not just her.  She turned all the relatives on her side of the family against my father.  I don’t know what she told my aunts and uncles but I do know they hated my father just as she did.

My relationship with my father has suffered terribly because I believed the lies I was told growing up.  Recovery has given me the unbelievable gift of getting to repair some of that damage. 

When I went into treatment, my aunt and uncle on my mother’s side of the family helped me tremendously.  My mother had passed away by then and so they spoke with my father to let him know what was going on.  He came to Atlanta to help move me from Ridgeview to Peachford.  My aunt and uncle saw my father act like a father.  His behavior and demeanor was incongruous with all the things my mother had told them about him.  A line of communication that had been closed for thirty years opened and my father and my mother’s sister began to speak to one another again.

Last night my father was in town and I sat at a table with him, with Trent, with my aunt from my mother’s side of the family and my uncle.  I sat back and watched as my family behaved like a family.

I am not my mother.  I get to break the cycle.  My grandfather died without my mother ever really knowing him.  My mother was diagnosed with cancer at a late stage and was incurable.  My mother let fears and resentments rule her life. 

I am not my mother.    I know my father.  I love him and know him to be a good man and a good father.  I was diagnosed with an early stage of cancer and will be cured.  I have a recovery program that specifically is designed to squash my fears and resentments.

I am not my mother.  I will break the cycle.